Occupational licenses could soon be within reach for more Oklahomans

Nearly 30 percent of the American workforce needs a license to do their job, so we should carefully examine the rules about who can, and can’t, get an occupational license. This is especially important for the justice-involved, a group that faces multiple barriers (including licensing restrictions) to employment and economic stability.  [More...]

Money matters for child development. Healthier finances means a healthier future for children in Oklahoma.

Policies that support low-income families improve the well-being of children. Policymakers have a number of options for improving economic prospects for Oklahoma’s working families and in turn improving health - including their mental health. Two practical changes are to restore the refundability of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increase the minimum wage. Both of these policy changes would provide more economic stability for families, reducing the risk of childhood trauma and poor mental health outcomes that stem from these adverse experiences. Improving the financial well-being of families creates healthier and economically thriving communities. [More...]

Bill Watch: Opportunities to make Oklahomans better off economically this session

This session, the Legislature will have several opportunities to improve the lives of hard-working Oklahomans and their families. Legislators have filed bills to create second chances for the justice-involved, make sure workers have paid time off to care for their own health and the health of their loved ones, and restore the full value of the Earned Income Tax Credit. All of these would be great steps toward creating an Oklahoma that appropriately values and fairly rewards the labor of its citizens. [More...]

New economic rankings show Oklahoma falling further behind

There are quite a few reasons to be optimistic about Oklahoma this year. Unemployment is low and the state expects to have a budget surplus this year, the first in quite some time. But despite this good news, too many Oklahomans are still struggling to make ends meet and build a better future for themselves and their families. For the third straight year, Oklahoma has dropped in the Prosperity Now Scorecard rankings. This year, we rank 43rd in the financial health and overall well-being of our residents - that's down from 34th in 2016. [More...]

2019 Priority: Expand opportunities for occupational licenses

Download this fact sheet as a printable pdf here. Read about the rest of OK Policy’s 2019 Legislative Policy Priorities here. Economic opportunities are sharply limited for Oklahomans who have been involved in the criminal justice system. These Oklahomans face… Read more [More...]

OKPolicyCast 41: Fair Wages and Overtime for State Workers (with Sterling Zearley)

Gene_Perry_and_Sterling_Zearley The OKPolicyCast is hosted by Gene Perry and produced by Gene Perry and Jessica Vazquez. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or RSS. The podcast theme music is by Zébre. If you have any questions for the OKPolicyCast, topics you’d like us to cover,… Read more [More...]

Progress is being made, but there’s still a long way to go in reforming occupational licensing in Oklahoma

We’ve been talking a lot about occupational licensing lately and that’s because it’s a big deal for economic opportunity. Requiring a state license to practice certain occupations began with good intentions –  to protect the public from the harm that… Read more [More...]

Signs of progress on reducing barriers to work in Oklahoma

Last fall, we told you about the work of the Oklahoma Occupational Licensing Task Force, a group of leaders from the Legislature, state agencies, and private businesses that formed in 2016 to study occupational licensing in the state. The task… Read more [More...]

Employment credit checks are putting jobs out of reach for Oklahomans

This post is by OK Policy intern Lydia Lapidus. Lydia is a recent graduate from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with a concentration in International Politics. When applying for a job, you might scan your social media… Read more [More...]

Oklahoma slips in new economic rankings

Recent good news about gains the national economy – lower unemployment, small declines in the poverty rate, and a booming stock market – is not reflected here in Oklahoma. The 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard paints a picture of many Oklahoma… Read more [More...]